Wednesday, April 18, 2012
A Whiff of Scandal
● GSAgate: The GSA scandal just keeps getting worse. First, you had a video of several GSA employees playing around rather than working. Then you had reports of $800k used to party in Vegas, and $900k used on expensive gifts for employees. Then more videos came out of GSA employees playing around. Over the weekend, we heard that criminal charges have been recommended by the Inspector General for many of these same party-goers, along with allegations of bribery and kickbacks. The head of the department has resigned, as have several other senior individuals. Some have pled the Fifth before Congress! Now we hear of a senior GSA employee who took his wife to Hawaii, Guam and the Mariana Islands on the taxpayer’s dime as a birthday gift. . . even after the Vegas scandal hit the news. And we’ve learned that GSA employees routinely invented fake awards so they could get the government to pay for food at meetings. Those are criminal acts.
This is the death of a thousand small scandals. Moreover, these are the types of scandals which catch people’s attention because it’s easy to understand -- unlike something like Fast and Furious. What’s worse, the Democrats are responding poorly by trying to allege this IG investigation is nothing more than a GOP smear or a "war on Vegas." That’s never worked. And Obama stepped in it by trying to claim this was Bush’s fault. That laid this firmly on Obama doorstep because his responding confirmed that this is something which sits at the presidential level of accountability.
● Air Farce One: Anyone remember Pelosi’s plane? Well, Leon Panetta is now answering questions about why the taxpayers had to pay to fly him home on weekends to California at a cost of $860,000 so far. He’s apologizing to anyone who will listen, which means he knows this too is the sort of thing taxpayers remember, especially in an administration known for taxpayer-funded vacations and golf.
● Boogie Down Secret Agent Man: The Secret Service is in the middle of a growing scandal as we learn that between 11-20 of their agents decided to party with a group of hookers in Cartagena, Columbia. I doubt the public wouldn’t attribute this to Obama, except for two things. First, when scandal is in the air, all scandals touching an administration get sucked in and become a pattern of misbehavior or mismanagement. Secondly, Obama put his foot in his mouth saying he would be “angry” if this proved to be true. This makes Obama sound like a chump because this goes back to his not knowing “whose ass to kick” in the Gulf of Mexico. It also makes it sound like these men were directly under his authority. He should have said he trusted the Secret Service to determine the facts and sort this out.
● Crony Industrial Policy: As we discussed yesterday and several times in the past, Obama’s fascist-inspired industrial policy has fallen apart in record time, and many of these are finally hitting the airwaves. This is why even the MSM is beginning to question why companies like Solyndra, Enerl, Beacon Power, Solar Trust for America, and others could possibly have gone bankrupt so quickly, sucking down so much government money. . . after making sizeable donations to Team Donkey.
● Bad Touch: Finally, there is a state-level sexual harassment scandal unfolding in North Carolina, where the NC Democratic Party executive director resigned Sunday after it was revealed he had paid a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations. Normally, this would be no big deal nationally, except for a couple facts: (1) this blew up in the middle of the whiff of scandal moment (and a slow news cycle), (2) it happened right after Hilary Rosen’s broadside against motherhood, which happened right as the Democrats charged the GOP with waging a war against women, and (3) the governor made it so much worse. Indeed, Governor Bev Perdue told reporters to “get over it” when she was asked about the scandal, despite the fact she had just declared April to be “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” She finally joined calls for the resignation, but the damage was done. Between this and Rosen, the Democratic propaganda about a war on women has exploded in a huge ball of hypocritical fire.
This is all bad news for Obama and the Democrats. It’s not that any one of these scandals is truly bad by itself, it’s that they are getting noticed by the MSM. This suggests the MSM knows Obama is doomed and they’ve decided to gain some credibility on his back by taking down all kinds of peripheral players. This will allow them to pretend they are unbiased when they start hunting for (and manufacturing) scandals under the Romney administration. I’ve seen this every time a Democrat is in trouble.
The one thing that may save them, however, is this fact: according to data compiled by the IRS, only 85 million people actually paid Federal tax last year. That’s only 27% of the population. Yes, you read that correctly. Only 1 in 4 Americans paid federal tax. That means 3 in 4 Americans are getting a free ride on the Federal government. By comparison, 49% of Americans, 147 million people, live in a household where someone received benefits from the government. This means a tremendous class of people is being created who will keep voting for more government, and that means Democrats.
That makes this election extremely important. The Republicans must cut these people off. They must break this cycle of dependence before it takes hold and they need to make more people pay taxes. This is vital the future. They should also mercilessly mock these scandals.